Centurions of the Sable Star of Ansteorra

From Ansteorra History Wiki
Revision as of 11:35, 11 July 2021 by Jessimond1350 (talk | contribs) (→‎Precedence)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigationJump to search
The badge for the Centurions.

Centurions Page on the Ansteorra Website

The Order of the Centurions of the Sable Star is a Grant Level award given in the Kingdom of Ansteorra for excellence on the field in the Chivalric arts.

General Information:

The Centurions of the Sable Star of Ansteorra are those individuals who have been recognized for their leadership on the field of battle in Chivalric Combat. The Centurions are a polling order.

Cloak crafted by and worn by Stella Silvana

Award Constitution:

"There shall exist in Ansteorra an order unto which the Crown shall select persons who have demonstrated all of the following qualities:

  • Exceptional leadership, skill and honor in chivalric combat.
  • Service to Ansteorra and its people;
  • Knowledge of the courtly graces; and
  • Obedience to the laws and ideals of Ansteorra and of the Society for Creative Anachronism.

This Order shall be known as the Order of the Centurions of the Sable Star..."

History

The Order of the Centurions of the Sable Star is an award that was created by the 30th Crown of Ansteorra, Inman and Athena.
"The original members were Daniel Blackaxe, Hakon de Decker, Pepin Moroni, Robin of Gilwell, Thorgard inn Svarti, and Vlad Ravna Starkraven and received the 6 original cloaks. I remember the event well. Duke Inman and Countess Athena were Crown and created the Order. I had to run back to Wolfstar camp to tell Daniel they wanted him in Court (in those days, the wolves avoided court because there was too much of a human smell to it)." - Baron Lucais.

"There were no cloaks then...The Badge was put in motion after the first six. I remember Pepin and Robin working on them, I asked Michael for the Cloaks after talking to a some several of the Boys about the idea AFTER Tarl and Talen become numbers 10 and 11. The first Cloakings occurred at Mikaels step down at Mahadi's Coronation with Cloaks made by Mooneshadowe and received from Talen and Treshen--I presented them to the already made Centurions, and they then passed them on to the new guys, Off Their Backs..." - Mistress Anastacia Marie Travarra

"The first Centurion cloaks were made in Mooneschadowe. Michael of Monmouthshire, Crown. Talon, Treschen, Owen." - Meisterin Elsa von Snackenberg, speaking with Syr Owen

"There are almost undoubtedly no pictures of the first court - it was a badly lit court on a dark night. (Of course, the king himself was also a dark knight....) They called our six names, we went up in court, and then they read the constitution of a new order, which had not been announced in advance. The result is that we knew we were Centurions at the same moment that we learned the Order of the Centurions existed. (I have occasionally shocked people by saying, truthfully, that I never wanted to become a Centurion. But that's only because it was impossible to do so; I am quite proud to be one.) The original cloaks were made by Treschen and presented by Treschen and Talan to the Order. There were more than six members then, though. There might be pictures of that court, but most cameras then were still film, so there's probably not a digital copy available. My original cloak was passed down to Miguel de Oporto, the second Centurion/Don. He later gave me a replacement, onto which Serena sewed a Lion clasp, thinking I wouldn't be able to give it away. But Ansteorra has no want of great heroes. I passed it on to Robert MacPharland, the third Centurion/Don/Lion. (That's why I don't have a cloak now.)" - Master Robin of Gilwell

The 'Other Centurion'

" TYC was the SCA 20th year celebration, stewarded by His Grace Duke Sigmund the Wingfooted and held at the Texas Renaissance Festival site in Plantersville. Camerinus was the embodiment of the Roman Legion officer, so Their Majesties Dinaris and Marguerite gave him the title of "Centurion." It carried no precedence and was technically only in force for the duration of Their reign. It was a singular honor, however, and well-deserved. You may notice that in Ansteorra some of the highest honors carry no precedence. We're funny that way.. ;-)" - Cynric

Precedence

Companions of the Order shall take precedence after all nobility and peerage and before simple Grants of Rank. The Order of the White Scarf (prior to 15 October 2018), Star of Merit, Iris of Merit, Centurions of the Sable Star, Arc d'Or of Ansteorra, and Golden Lance of Ansteorra are held to be of equal precedence.

Membership:

"The First Century"
"The Second Century"

Insignia of the Order

The badge of the order is: Fieldless on an eagle displayed Or a mullet of five greater and five lesser points sable. Companions of the Order are entitled place the initials CSS or the word "Centurion" after their names, to be addressed with the title "Centurion", and to wear, either on the right calf or above the left elbow, a ribbon Or edged gules charged with a sable Ansteorran star. (Companions who joined the order prior to September 2002 may choose to wear the original ribbon sable edged Or charged with an Or Ansteorran Star.)

The Specifics of the Cloak Design:

Her Excellency, Mistress Dunstana Talana the Violet provided this information:
I do not know how many of the first cloaks are still around and honestly, when Centurion Colin ui Niall commissioned his, I had never seen one, so I had only the official description to work with. Some other artisans have used the eagle I designed for Centurion Colin, but you can tell who made them by how the straps are attached. My drawing was also used by Master Drixos to make the Centurion trim he sells, and has popped up in other places, too. I get a kick out of that.

The cloak I designed - a red semi-circle with a Germanic eagle, and two yellow straps tab-ended to the cloak, is popular, and has variants, but is not the only design out there. I made it to go with Centurion Colin's Landschneckt fighting garments. Centurions Tarl and Thorgrim have Nordic-artwork eagles. Sir Modius has a black-and-white cloak (of course). One gentleman (I don't know his name) has a templar-style long red cloak with the eagle on the left breast. This fall Thorvald asked me to make a Norse-style cloak with an eagle adapted from a depiction of a raven. It looks awesome, I must say.

Action shot of Centurion Talen

The Original Cloaks

The Order of the Centurion of the Sable Star of Ansteorra was created by Duke Inman and Countess Athena. The award constitution was read into law on June 18, 1994, and was a complete surprise to the recipients. The "First Six" were Daniel Blackaxe, Hakon de Decker, Pepin Moroni, Robin of Gilwell, Thorgard inn Svarti, and Vlad Ravna Starkraven.

At that time, no insignia was available. Anastacia Marie Travarra and her apprentice, Treschen von Asselen set out to make some. They researched what had been written into law, and decided to create insignia for their husbands (Talen and Tarl), who were Centurions. The very first cloaks was created by these two ladies. The design of Talen's cloak was modeled on a Teutonic Knight's cloak to reflect his persona. Tarl's cloak was of Anglo Saxon design. Treschen then organized a sewing party in Mooneschadowe, and several more cloaks were made. The cloaks were later presented by Treschen and Talen to the Order, at the stepping down of Mikhail / Coronation of Mahdi I. (January 8, 1997) These original cloaks have been passed down numerous times. Notes below show whom received a cloak from one of the Original Six, and the date they were made a Centurion. Note that not all of the six were among those who received a cloak when they were presented in 1997.







Note: Thorgard states that he did not ever receive one of these Six Original cloaks. "I was not there when the cloaks were presented, and did not receive one. My first cloak, I made myself, before I was a Lion. I later gave it to Alfredo Gabriel Halcon. My second cloak was crafted with both the Eagle and the Lion."

  • Vlad Ravna Starkraven, 06/18/1994

Note: Vlad states, "I was, in fact, one of the first 6 Centurions created, but neither the cloaks nor even the eagle insignia existed at the time. As it happens, I didn't finally get a cloak until, I believe, 2 years ago at the Gulf War. A fellow Centurion had a spare and gave me one of hers. It took me so long to get one, I'm extremely reluctant to part with it. Prior to that time, I wore a tabbard that looked like a regular Ansteorran war tabbard in the front (gold with a black star), but had the Centurion eagle on the back."


In 1998, Dunstana Talana the Violet created a number of additional cloaks. The first one that she made was commissioned byColin Oisin Donavan Ui Neill of Northkeep. She continued to make cloaks for Centurions until the year of her passing.

Tales of Cloaks Being Passed Down

Jarl Owen ap Aeddan relates, "So I was made a Centurion on the field at Gulf War by Miguel Sebastian de Oporto I and Conal Alexandria O'Riordain I. My first cloak came from Ysfael Bryndu. That night in court, I was called up to receive my scroll, and HRM commented that I had such a small cloak for such a large man. After much laughter, I left court and a most beautiful lady whom I did not know came up and hugged me saying she now had my measurements and she would make me a proper sized cloak. Now I had been promised many things by several people who truly wanted to make what they said they would make, and to this day I do not have those things, so I did not expect to ever see this pretty lady ever again. To my shock, she made me that cloak and it was large and beautiful - so it was my court cloak. The seamstress later became a Laurel and she lived in Seawinds. I suck with names and do not remember hers. I cried at Ulf’s awarding of his Centurion, and with Adair Jackson in a backpack, I took this cloak off and gave it to Ulf. Someone else thought they were going to give Ulf their cloak (Angus MacKnochard), but they were dissuaded with threats of a stabbing." (Cloak shown in gallery below)

Master Robin of Gilwell relates, "(One of my cloaks) was a gift from Miguel (the current king) many years ago. Serena sewed a clasp of lion heads on it so I wouldn't be able to pass it on. (How often is somebody a Lion before becoming a Centurion?) About six months later, we elevated Robert MacPharland (Don, Pelican, and yes, Lion) to the Centurions, and I passed the cloak on." (The cloak in this tale was made by Duchess Willow de Wisp, according to Miguel. He then sewed another in the same style, after this one was passed down.

Gallery

Traditions:

“Off Their Backs, Not From The Crown”

It is Ansteorran tradition that the insignia of a Centurion – the red cloak worn – is never given out by the Crown, themselves… Her Excellency, Mistress Dunstana Talana the Violet provided this information: “At first, this meant that one Centurion always stepped forward to give his/her cloak to the one being elevated, then went and got themselves a new cloak; or that the newly elevated Centurion was given the order's garter, but instructed to get his/her own cloak.

Kitchen Service

In the Northern Region, it is not uncommon to hear, "Centurions! To the Kitchen!" shouted out after feast - with the Order members stripping off their shirts and washing up all the dishes (oftentimes with voices raised in song).

Fundraising

The Centurions have been known to do a donation based shots-bar at various events, to raise funds for cloaks and for hosted events such as the Centurions War College in January of 2010. This was held during the reign of Owen ap Aeddan, and he recalls, "This was a free, stand-alone event. It was held the same weekend as Winter War Maneuvers, so I commanded the Northern Centurions to support the Prince in Calontir while I went south to support the Centurion event. That was the only Winter War Maneuvers I have missed since JP took me to it a very long time ago. The second Centurion event was held in conjunction with a Bryn Gwlad event. The event focuses on chivalric melee fighting." The Centurions have also raised money for such worthy causes as a replacement for the Queen of Ansteorra's throne when the first was stolen, for the Royal Travel Fund, and for the Known World Party at Gulf Wars.

The Centurion Panel made by Jeanne Marie la Verriere

The Centurion Panel

Created by Jeanne Marie la Verriere, this stunning stained glass piece was made as a fundraiser for the Centurions. (More Details to Follow)

Lore

The Parable of the Centurion

As told by Romanius Vesperianus
A man is walking through the desert. And he comes upon a pride of lions. He is taken aback and scared. But then he notices that living amongst the lions is a rabbit. And the rabbit is treated as an equal by the lions. He is suddenly taken by a fear; for which should he fear more? The lions? or the rabbit who is treated as their equal. Think of this, when you look upon those you fight. For do you wish to fight the lions? Or the rabbit who lives among them?

The Tombstone or the Stepping Stone

As told by Morgan Trailmaker, during the Centurion Shot Fundraiser:
"It used to be a tombstone for people, but because we became a brotherhood, because we got so intertwined, and we wanted to make this better, it became a stepping stone instead of a tombstone. I was at the end of the Tombstone and the beginning of the Brotherhood - but I'm one of those people who would give up my belt and chain for the brotherhood of the Centurions that we have. There's a few of us who say that - and maybe it's bad to say, because I love my King and I love my Kingdom - I would do anything for my King and Kingdom - but the brotherhood of the Centurions means so much to mean, and it has done so much for me in my time here in the SCA. It's an amazing order, and don't ever disparage this order for what it is. We want to have fun. We want to make things happen. We do dishes. We do service. We make the SCA happen. And that's what we do."

Award Recipients

(Click title above to be taken to the Ansteorran Order of Precedence page for the Centurions of the Sable Star.)

Award Charters

There have been a number of designs for the Centurion charters over the years:

  • CCS-01: Calligraphy and Illumination by Ciar nic Ruadhan O'seachnassaich
  • CCS-02: Calligraphy and Illumination by Augaire Uisnigh, known as Ari
  • CCS-03: Calligraphy by Sigurd Eiriksdottir, Illumination by Anastacia Marie Travarra.

Centurion Scroll Charter Gallery